Approximately 500 years ago, a medical doctor, who also was an alchemical philosopher, had the belief that locked within each individual’s personality, was the secret to their own health. In order to determine if this was true, the doctor made it a point to meet, work and learn all he could about as many people as possible.
The doctor was not interested in learning some generality, he wanted to observe how people reacted under all circumstances and pressures. Through his contact with people he made them happy, mad, got them intoxicated, all the time observing their actions and reactions.
The doctor also looked back into the people’s lives to find out why healthy persons were healthy and why sick persons were sick. One of his conclusions was that some people were healthy and happier because they seemed to be better people. They appeared more moral, reasonable and less opinionated. The doctor discovered that disease increased and health diminished as false opinions multiplied within an individual. Sickness increased as ambitions increased. The people who were content in their life were in better health than those who were discontented.
Another observation was that individuals who lived a well-integrated, relaxed personal life, even though they were of a comparatively low degree of intelligence, were in most ways in better health than those people whose lives were in constant conflict.
Another striking observation was that many persons living in unhealthy areas, near swamps and other toxic areas, did not sicken. He wondered how this was possible that some people were sick and others were not. He also noted that individuals under great world pressures such as war, religious disturbances, invasions, and people living under tyrants…some of these people were miserable and others were not.
The doctor also wondered why one individual in a city, who is taxed too much, becomes unhappy, sick and finally destroys himself, another individual under the same pressure, being taxed equally, accepts the burden, remains happy and adjusts his life. Eventually the doctor came to the conclusion that it is something in the individual that determines the degree of his fortune or misfortune.
One of the doctor’s major conclusions was that a person primarily sickened himself, and it was not just the outward circumstances that made the person ill. After much observation, thought and meditation about life, the doctor came to the conclusion that while pressures, circumstances and conditions surround us, there is sufficient evidence in the reaction of individuals to prove, it is not the pressure from outside, but the reaction within, which becomes the basis of tragedy.
If you take a person and put him in a room, close all the windows and doors, he will gradually kill himself by poisoning the atmosphere around him. He will suffocate as a result of the poison that he breathes into the air around him. If there is no way to purify the air the person will suffocate due to a lack of oxygen.
The doctor observed that human feelings, kept in a confined space within an individual, where there is no ventilation, will eventually lead to dis-ease and ultimately to a person’s death. “When a person blocks circulation of any part of nature, and draws a line of limitation, and sets aside an area in which he lives, it will ultimately poison him.”
For the remainder of his life the doctor worked with the inner aspects of his patients as much as he did with treating the outer body. When you realize that Paracelsus lived in the early 1500s, his observations combined with his stunning medical successes, all throughout Europe, are quite profound. Paracelsus’s greatest adage was, “Let no one who can be his own belong to another.” We each hold the power to ultimately decide how someone or something will affect our life.
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